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GirlGeek of the Week
February 2001

Alanna Webb

Alanna Webb
Web Designer


Science and tech have always been Alanna Webb's forte. In her tomboyish youth, she could be found dissecting reptiles, assembling turtle skeletons, and milling her own candles and soap. She found a natural fit later in life as a chemical engineer.

After eight years in the chem lab, Alanna switched careers to desktop publishing and Web design. She taught herself computers and databases on her own time. Some co-workers thought she was wasting her free time but the new skills paid off when she left engineering behind completely. Now instead of mixing chemicals she's mixing it up on the Web as a designer/developer.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

My first taste of computers was in college when we had to use the old punchcards. Then, I bought my first computer after graduating from college, an Apple IIc. I can still remember how nervous I was to insert a disc into the drive! Then, when I went to work as a chemical engineer, there sat a computer that nobody took the time to use, so I became the office "geek", back in the days when the 10 meg iOmega discs were as big as a notebook. I started in DOS, and self-taught myself almost everything I know today. I feel very fortunate to have been active with computers prior to Windows, so I understand more when I get stuck.

How do you earn a living?

I founded in Sept. 1997 with my savings, and it took less than a year for me to start making my living from operating the site. I never thought that I would ever leave the security (or what I thought was security) of a corporate career for the unknown world of self-employment, but I have been successfully self-employed since 1993. I now own my own corporation, have developed web communities that attract millions of visitors a year, contract out a lot of work, and now make more than twice my engineering salary.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Yes, definitely! I would rather work on my web sites than shop. That says it all!

What is your favorite Website?

I enjoy exploring all the fellow partner sites in

What do you do when you are not working?

My big passion is movies. My friends always come to me for a movie critique because they know that I go to almost all the movies. Also, reading romance novels, and meeting my friends for dinner.

What's your motto?

You reap what you sow!

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Sandra Bullock. She is a natural woman who is more casual than formal, yet she can fit in anywhere.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

"Princess Grows Up!"

Who is the person you most admire?

My parents, who lived through more than I ever will, and who helped make me the independent person that I am.

When and where were you the happiest?

When I'm in the middle of being in love, when you still see the possibilities.

If you could have one super power what would it be?

Mind reading. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to really tell what someone is thinking, so you can better communicate? Hmmmm... On second thought, maybe it would take the fun out of life, so I'll pick flying so I don't have to drive in traffic.



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